Tuesday, September 18, 2012

06 Zhai Zi Po Ripe

Some of you who were buying back in 2006 may have your budget memories triggered by the sight of these Nanjian stags.  Cheap and probably cheerful, I remember Nanjian stuff going for so low(few bucks) that I didn't  buy them; it just didn't feel right to be paying more for shipping than actual tea.   Was Nanjian more like the $2.75 taco dinner I enjoy weekly at my tried and true taqueria that has not let me down even once in 10 years or was this brick just one more example of cheap factory floor tea better left in China?

This here brick is from Yun Zhou Tea Factory and Zhai Zi Po (寨子坡) is their brand.  Yun Zhou Tea Factory was once part of Nanjian three-way with Tulin. Although I perhaps erroneously associate the stags with Nanjian- Nanjian now uses the double phoenix logo as Yun Zhou Tea Factory is no longer part of that partnership.

The leaves hail from Yun Xian(云县) in Lincang noted for sweetness.  I bought my brick from Mandala Teas for $15 and it has now risen to $18.  That's a 20% return in two months- currently my best performing investment for Q2. This brick is a respectably interesting shu with a licorice mouthfeel and is much lighter than standard Menghai.  Predictably the leaves are a blend of heavily fermented shu with even lighter leaves holding onto a greenish tint.

Although lesser quality leaves are used for bricks than beengs and tuos, I've been enjoying shu bricks such as this one more than my high quality premium beengs. Larger leaves definitely bring a smoothness that is tolerant to overbrewing.  I'm always surprised such mass produced shu bricks can taste good at all and this one is worth having more of.  


  1. Anonymous11:25 PM

    I'm guessing you haven't read this, but I think it's exactly the kind of thing you'd be interested in: http://gingkobay.blogspot.com/2012/09/a-relatively-complete-list-of-fungi-in.html

  2. Nick-

    On the contrary- I follow Life in a Teacup blog closely!

    I had a few questions of my own as I am an active sniffer before brewing and always wondered if microbes up my nose is hazardous. There was one time I did get a terrible sinus headache from a musty shu but it wore off.


    1. Anonymous3:22 PM

      *shrug* There's microbes in everything. It just matters what type, how much, and what state your immune system is in when you receive them.

      That being said, I'm staying away from Yosemite for awhile.

      See the space shuttle this morning?? Awesome, pretty damn close to us!!